Do students, who carry out hourly-paid work during their holidays, accrue holiday during the unpaid absences from work?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 6 July 2021
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Holiday Pay; Contracts of Employment

 In the case of a student who carries out hourly-paid work during school/ university vacations (that is, Christmas, Easter and Summer) would their holidays accrue during the unpaid absences from work (i.e. term time)?

If the worker remains under a contract during term time, they would continue to accrue holidays during that time even though they are not working. This would pose challenges to the employer because the worker would work for less than 20 weeks in the year but accrue 5.6 weeks' paid holiday as if they were a permanent worker.

One approach to dealing with holiday would be for the employer to engage the worker on a series of discrete, short-term contracts for the duration of

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 06/07/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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